In Advent, we begin a new year in the church calendar. We begin with hope, with promise, with longing. We begin in faith knowing that God is true to His Word and His Promises. And yet, we look and recognize all that is not right in the world around us. We hold in one hand the hope and glory of the eternal Kingdom of God and in the other the temporal brokenness of our human experience.
Over the next several weeks of Advent, I invite you to walk with us in a journey of reflection and expectation as we follow the lights of the Advent wreath as they guide us to Look Back to the Story with the Patriarchs, Look into the Vision with the Prophets, Look Around for the Kingdom with John the Baptist, and Look Ahead to the King with Mary.
As we light the Advent candle each Sunday, we welcome and anticipate the journey ahead. We introduce the weekly Candle Prayer, look ahead to our walk, and prepare ourselves with one of the songs from Scripture called Canticles from the Daily Office.
Our weekday liturgy begins with Invitation and Preparation as we say together, “O God, make speed to save us; O Lord, make haste to help us.” We follow the invitation with the Candle Prayer for the week. Next, we Listen and Receive the Word of God. Then we Reflect and Respond to God’s Word at work in and among us. We close our weekday liturgy as we are Blessed and Sent to carry the light of Advent into the world.
Our week concludes on Saturday with the sabbath invitation to rest and delight in the Lord. We bid farewell to our week resting in the same Canticle which began our week, delighting in the recollection of our journey, and praying the Candle Prayer one last time for the week.
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